A group of state attorneys general, led by California’s Xavier Becerra, urged automakers Wednesday to curb “unlawful and predatory” practices regarding the timely return of off-lease vehicles to franchised dealerships during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a letter distributed Wednesday — which includes signatures from attorneys general in Connecticut, Iowa, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia and Puerto Rico — Becerra directly responded to media reports that consumers are having trouble returning off-lease vehicles.
USA Today reported on April 16 that some dealerships were refusing to accept vehicles with expired lease contracts unless consumers purchased a vehicle in exchange. Some consumers were reportedly told that a lease extension would be their only option.
The states are pressing automakers’ finance arms and dealerships to adopt and maintain strict controls to ensure consumers can return off-lease vehicles in a timely manner,…